The annual running with the bulls in Spain’s northern city of Pamplona is rooted in culture and tradition. Plus, it’s hugely popular on the backpacker radar. No wonder the USA was a slice of this festival cake. Get ready Yanks, the running of the bulls is coming your way!
The Great Bull Run heads to America
It’s true. The Great Spanish Bull Run is about the be set loose in the good ‘ol U.S of A. The event, inspired by Pamplona’s festival, will essentially feature a fenced-off course that bulls will rush through while chasing human participants trying to avoid being reared or gored. If you’re up for it, we strongly do not recommend you dress in red.
Every year dozens of people are injured during Pamplona’s San Fermin Festival yet it draws outstanding crowds of Spaniards and increasingly more and more foreigners. Made famous by Hemingway’s novels, it’s an event that is not to be missed while travelling through Spain. Now, daredevils won’t have to travel across the Atlantic to get a piece of the action. Events have been planned for Georgia, Texas, Florida, California, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Virginia.
The events will take place this month and through the fall with as many as 7,000 people signed up to run with the bulls in Georgia in October. Organisers warn participants though,
“By participating in the run, you accept the risk that you might be trampled, gored, rammed or tossed in the air by a bull, or bumped, jostled, tripped or trampled by your fellow runners. We do what we can to minimize those risks by using less-aggressive bulls than those used in Spain and allowing runners to hide in nooks and climb over the track fence if necessary, but make no mistake: You could get seriously injured in this event.”
Unlike Spain, organisers have no intention of killing the bulls after the run in a bullfight. They have even gone to great lengths to ensure the bulls are well fed, rested, hydrated and cared for by an on-site veterinarian. The events will be all-day celebrations of Spanish traditions with plenty to eat and feature other attractions like a tomato-throwing contest, also modelled after a popular Spanish festival.
Planning to run with the bulls in Pamplona? Check out our festival guide.